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Keep Houston Press Free
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Human Trafficking Sting Named After Disco Hit Nets 18 Arrests at Houston Cantinas

In all likelihood, it was ranchera music playing, and not a Donna Summer classic, when a squad of law enforcement officials stormed a cantina called Lolita's Bar, an alleged front for prostitution, according to the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

The sting was dubbed "Operation Last Dance," in a video that you can see after the jump.

Acting on numerous complaints of possible illegal activity, the HCSO's Special Investigations Vice Unit, in collaboration with The Human Trafficking Task Force, conducted a joint investigation that culminated on Thursday, May 15 with several arrests at Lolita's Mexican Cantina, located at 11730 Beaumont Hwy., and Linda's Bar, located at 2217 McCarty. Both locations were found to be engaged in illegal activity, primarily prostitution.

A total of 18 people were arrested, 15 women and three men, and 21 criminal charges were filed, according to statement from the HCSO. Deputies worked with a task force made up of several agencies including the Houston Police Department, Department of Homeland Security and the IRS.

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"A lot of these cantinas are fronts for human trafficking where they bring in girls, they obligate them to sell themselves," HCSO spokesperson Christina Garza told Hair Balls. She said the people arrested were interviewed, but none had indicated being used in any kind of trafficking operation.

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